Disaster-level rain inundates southern Taiwan: rain to continue all week

Today, Sunday, August 1 saw rainfall above torrential rain level in southern districts, while northern districts and central mountain areas experienced localized thunderstorms in the afternoon as Taiwan continues to be influenced by a southwesterly monsoonal airflow expected to influence the weather for another week.

Accumulated rainfall over the last two days in Pingtung County and Kaohsiung City measured over 500 millimeters, while Tainan City recorded more than 400 millimeters.

Some districts in Tainan and Pingtung have seen super-torrential rain dumping more than 90 millimeters in one hour.

The Central Weather Bureau issued a heavy rain report for 11 counties and cities this morning, including Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County, Taichung City, Changhua County, Yunlin County, Chiayi City, Nantou County, Taitung County and Penghu County. The CWB warned residents of these districts to beware of flooding in low-lying areas, and landslides, rockfalls and surging streams in mountain districts.

Hundreds Evacuated from Mountain Districts

The Kaohsiung City Aboriginal Association said that of 6:00 am this morning, 379 residents of mountain districts had been evacuated and that evacuations were continuing in vulnerable areas including Taoyuan District.

Landslides and Rockfalls block roads

The Directorate General of Highways announced that 8 sections of provincial highway in Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung have been blocked by landslides and rockfalls as of 8:00 am this morning.

The Soil and Water Conservation Bureau of the Council of Agriculture has issued red-alert warnings for 35 landslide-prone areas of Kaohsiung City, including 7 in Taoyuan District, and 16 in Liugui District. Police have set up roadblocks for the Chongde and Errenxi bridges as streams surge.

Chongde Bridge, Kaohsiung City, August 1, 2021. Picture: Kaohsiung City Government.

The Chiayi County Government has also reported many roads in mountain districts blocked by mudflows and rockfalls. The county government has dispatched response teams to close bridges and sections of road for public safety.

a landslide blocks Route 129 in Alishan Township.
Route 129 Alishan Township was blocked by a landslide at the 29 kilometer mark this morning, August 1. Picture: Chiayi County Government.
cracked road surface in Chiayi County
Route 149 in Jiale Village, Taipu Township, Chiayi County, August 1, 2021. Picture: Chiayi County Government.
washed out road in mountain district of Chiayi County
Collapsed road on Route 159A Guanghua Village, Zhuqi Township, Chiayi County. Picture: Chiayi County Government.

In low lying areas of Chiayi County, 241 pumping stations and 479 water gates are operating to deal with flooding, the Chiayi County Government said.

At 6:30 am this morning, the Chiayi County Water Resources Department issued a yellow alert warning for areas prone to soil and rock flows in Alishan Township and urged the public to prepare disaster prevention materials or evacuate vulnerable areas.

Tainan City

In Tainan City where some areas saw more than 200 millimeters fall in the last 24 hours, the Xinhua District Office and local police assisted residents evacuate flooded areas in Zhiyi Village, while 42 people from 26 households were evacuated in Nanhua District.

Police assist residents evacuate flooded homes in Zhiyi Village, Xinhua District, Tainan City. Picture: Tainan City Police Department.

The Central Weather Bureau forecasts that the main part of the southwesterly airstream will move south to the Bashi Channel tonight, but southern and central districts of Taiwan will continue to experience localized heavy rains for the coming week.

Weather map showing southwest monsoonal airflow affecting Taiwan
Weather map showing southwest monsoonal airflow affecting Taiwan August 1, 2021.
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